Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Sporty Diesel Is Super-Thrifty

Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Sporty Diesel Is Super-Thrifty

Article excerpt

Byline: By Andy Richards

In the fiercely competitive supermini segment of motoring it takes something extra-special to help to keep you well ahead of the game.

Renault, always one of the league leaders at this kind of thing, has recently introduced its first sporty diesel supermini ( a new 100bhp 1.5 dCi.

It's not branded as a hot-hatch. Renault, perhaps with tongue in cheek, refers to it as a "warm hatch".

It's not exactly cheap at pounds 11,800, but it's certainly impressive and reaches an astonishing 65.7mpg on the challenging combined cycle according to official figures. Now that is ultra-thrifty!

The aim is to provide a Clio with an engine providing maximum driving pleasure from the lowest speeds, thanks to a multi-valve variable nozzle turbocharger, with more than 90 per cent of torque available from 1,500rpm.

A feature of the Renault dCi unit is that it breaks down the fuel into an ultra-fine mist, allowing every drop of fuel to be burnt, completely and cleanly. The result is fuel consumption figures and emissions that are amongst the lowest in its class.

The latest Clio does look good. As it has been developed it has become bolder-looking ( and it is a car with personality. It's nippy, easy to drive and cuts a dash. Its cute looks are a reflection that its shape is practical and aerodynamically sound.

On the Initiale and Dynamique models, you get new concave foglights and a slightly smoother front end. Other than that, the range is fairly uniform.

The new 100bhp 1.5 dCi engine is available in Dynamic, Privilege and Initiale models. It will doubtless provide a fierce challenge to its main competitors which include the Ford Fiesta, Vauxhall Corsa, Peugeot 206 and VW Polo.

Renault says it offers the best combination of fuel efficiency ( and looking at those official figures, few could argue with that ( and cleanliness with power and acceleration.

I found the vehicle great fun to drive and, because it is so economical and my mileage relatively small, I hardly worried about the fuel gauge. …

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